Jia-Jia Liu, Ting Chen and Li-Li Wu* Pages 1 - 6 ( 6 )

Background: Centrifugal spinning uses the centrifugal force produced by the high speed rotating device to manufacture filaments or nonwoven fabrics from polymer melts or solutions. Recently, with the development of technologies, centrifugal spinning was employed to produce superfine fibers and nanofibers. In order to improve the equipment and technology of centrifugal spinning and obtain finer fibers, it is important to model the polymer drawing of the centrifugal spinning.

Methods: The polymer drawing in the centrifugal spinning is modeled and simulated. The force balance equation and heat transfer balance equation are established after analyzing the motion and heat transfer of the polymer melts. These nonlinear equations are solved based on the least square method to obtain the radius of excircle and the shape of streamline. A fourth order Runge-Kutta method is utilized to obtain the diameter and temperature of the threadline because there are initial value problems of first order ordinary differential equations. Streamlines and diameter of polymer melts at different viscoelasticities and different spinning temperatures are obtained. The simulation results are compared with the measured results to verify the polymer drawing model.

Results: The viscoelastic force in the centrifugal spinning changes constantly at a fixed rotation speed of the rotating spinneret. As the spinneret is rotating, the radius of excircle R1 increases slowly when the time passes, which means the viscoelastic force decreases slowly. The change of the viscoelastic force accelerates the increase of the radius vector. The simulation results show that the threadline diameter under the condition of changing viscoelastic forces is smaller than that under the condition of fixed visoelastic forces. The temperature of the polymer melts decreases faster under the condition of changing viscoelastic forces than that under the condition of fixed visoelastic forces. The threadline diameter decreases with the increase of the rotation speed. Higher initial polymer temperatures yield smaller fiber diameters.

Conclusion: The polymer drawing in the centrifugal spinning is modeled and simulated. The simulation results tally with the measured results confirming the effectiveness of the polymer drawing model. The simulation results show that the change of the viscoelastic force is favorable to the polymer drawing and both larger rotation speeds and higher initial polymer temperatures can produce finer fibers, which lays a good foundation for the computer-assisted design of the centrifugal spinning.

Air centrifugal spinning, air-flow field, model, nanofiber, polymer drawing, simulation.

College of Textile and Clothing Engineering, National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Silk, Soochow University, Suzhou, College of Textile and Clothing Engineering, National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Silk, Soochow University, Suzhou, College of Textile and Clothing Engineering, National Engineering Laboratory for Modern Silk, Soochow University, Suzhou